The opening race of the Pirelli Thai Round in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship saw Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) and Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) clash on track early on, creating the rivalry everyone wanted to see unfold between the two heavyweight stars. Bautista was able to get the better of the reigning champion eventually, to take his fourth WorldSBK win.

An action-packed start saw Bautista originally get a flying start but Buriram specialist Jonathan Rea got ahead of the Spaniard through Turn 1 with Alex Lowes in behind (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team).

The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK riders of Sandro Cortese and Marco Melandri ran wide at the same turn, with Tom Sykes (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) slicing under them and into fourth. At the end of lap one, the top four were covered by 1.1s. A lightening start from Michael van der Mark (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) saw him elevate from 10th on the grid to fifth by the end of the opening lap.

On lap three, Jonathan Rea led by a narrow margin ahead of championship leader Bautista, who has topped every session so far in Thailand this year. At Turn 3, Bautista made his move, only for Rea to cut back underneath him, colliding with his rival. Bautista made a miraculous save and whilst Alex Lowes came through, Bautista shook his head in disgust at Rea’s aggressive pass.

Biker T-Shirts UK

Whilst Rea lead, towards the end of lap three, Bautista made a pass on Lowes at the final corner, only to run wide and Lowes to pass him back down the front straight. Soon enough though, on the fourth lap at Turn 1, Bautista made his way through on Lowes and then set off in his pursuit of the four-time champion.

Behind the leaders, the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team riders started to battle to form a battle for the final podium position. Van der Mark couldn’t make a move however and Lowes would maintain a strong pace right through the race. Behind them, Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was keeping a watching brief, whilst Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) began to reel in the battle for the podium.

With 12 laps to go, Bautista had regained the ground on Rea and set about trying to find a way ahead of the Kawasaki-mounted rider. On the run to the Turn 3, Bautista got ahead and this time, he was able to make the move stick and Jonathan Rea couldn’t fight back straight away. The two continued to romp away from the rest of the pack and whilst Rea didn’t lose too much time on Bautista initially, lap after lap, Bautista’s metronomic pace soon saw him break clear. That is how it would stay until the end of the race.

With the third place battle seemingly a stalemate between the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team riders, Leon Haslam was starting to feel the pressure of Marco Melandri. Melandri made his way ahead on lap 11, but the battle was far from over. With just five laps to go, a rough lap from Melandri allowed Haslam to close up and make a move at the final corner. Haslam ran wide and the wily Italian cut back under him, clashing on the start and finish straight. Yet another Kawasaki in a collision, but this time, eventually, Haslam would win the fight.

At the line, Bautista took the win by 8.2s ahead of Rea, whilst Lowes held on ahead of Michael van der Mark by 0.4s to take his third Buriram podium. In fifth position, Leon Haslam clinched the place over Melandri, whilst Sandro Cortese took seventh after a late battle with Michael Ruben Rinaldi (BARNI Racing Team). Sykes was ninth after being pushed back due to his top speed deficit, with Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) coming from 13th to 10th.

With battle between the Spaniard and the Ulsterman, Alvaro Bautista’s win makes him the first Ducati rider since Neil Hodgson in 2003 to win the opening four races of a WorldSBK season. He gives Ducati their 345th win in the World Superbike class, as well as their 587th WorldSBK podium. He also becomes the first non-British rider to win at the Chang International Circuit.

P1 – Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
“For sure today has been tougher than Australia. I knew that Johnny would be fighting with me in the race because we had a similar pace during the free practices. I didn’t make a good start. I went wide in the first corner and lost the first position. I kept pushing and I caught Rea, and we had a clash at Turn 3 that almost made me crash. After a few laps, I was able to recover and find back my rhythm. I pushed to the limit and passed Johnny to take the win. I am really happy because even if my feeling with the bike wasn’t perfect, I was still able to win”.

P2 – Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK)
“I am really happy. I did my best today and the package was great. I had a good bike and especially in the middle sectors, I felt like I really could push on the limit. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay with Alvaro again. But we will keep trying and keep pushing. I enjoyed riding the bike. Maybe in the Tissot Superpole Race I can ride with that intensity for ten laps, but for Race Two we need to try to conserve more the tyres. Let’s see what will happen tomorrow”.

P3 – Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK)
“I am pleased with my race today. I didn’t feel confident with the front of the bike. I had to keep calm because I know that I was close to the riders at the front, but with the heat, I had to save the tyres to cover the race distance. I did a good job and hopefully, we can improve a bit for tomorrow and trying to get further on the podium”.

#THAWorldSBK at Chang International Circuit: Race 1
1. Alvaro Bautista (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati)
2. Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) +8.217
3. Alex Lowes (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team) +14.155

Championship Standings after Race 1, Round 2
1. Alvaro Bautista (ESP) Ducati (87 points)
2. Jonathan Rea (GBR) Kawasaki (69 points)
3. Alex Lowes (GBR) Yamaha (46 points)



World Superbike

Rea conquerers his 75th WorldSBK victory as Bautista crashes early on 1WorldSSP: Krummenacher beats Caricasulo after titanic final lap battle 1Wet Race 1 sees Rea victorious as Sykes and Bautista completes podium 1Van der Mark sets the fastest lap time ahead of Rea and Bautista before suffering a huge crash 1RiminiWorldSBK: Electric feel 1Prosecco DOC named Event Main sponsor of the 2019 WorldSBK UK Round 1Michael van der Mark takes first win of the season as championship leader Bautista crashes 1Bautista takes home win ahead of van der Mark. Melandri third after Rea penalty 1Bautista back on top at the end of Friday free practices in Jerez 1ESPWorldSBK: Purebred passion 1Recovering Leon Camier to sit out the Spanish round at Jerez; Yuki Takahashi to replace him 1Pata set to extend their support to the WorldSBK Riviera di Rimini Round 1WorldSBK Tissot Superpole Race got underway before rain curtailed competitions 1Jonathan Rea returns to the top step of the podium in Race 1 1Reigning World Champion Rea on top again with Davies and Sykes close behind 1ITAWorldSBK:  Enjoy the best of the WorldSBK entertainment in Italy 1ITAWorldSBK: A tale at every turn 1Unstoppable Bautista continues to make history winning again in Race 2 at the Cathedral of Speed 1Bautista on pole for Sunday's Race 1 and Race 2 1WorldSBK Race 1 postponed due to weather condition in Assen 1Thrilling first day of action at TT Circuit Assen ends with Tom Sykes on top 1NLDWorldSBK:  A weekend of entertainment awaits Dutch fans in Assen 1Home-hero Bautista takes ninth consecutive victory in Race 2 at MotorLand Aragon 1Alvaro Bautista takes seventh consecutive victory in WorldSBK in Race 1 at MotorLand Aragon 1Alvaro Bautista sets the pace at MotorLand Aragon after FP2 1AragonWorldSBK: The Motocard Aragon Round promises added fan entertainment 1AragonWorldSBK: Ducati or Kawasaki? Who will become the most successful manufacturer at Motorland Aragon? 1AragonWorldSBK: Who will climb the wall? 1Alvaro Bautista makes it six out of six wins in Buriram 1Alvaro Bautista takes Race One win and fourth successive victory in WorldSBK 1



Grid Girls Gallery by Grid Girls UK
Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Ducati MotoGP - Silverstone 2014Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Gresini Honda - Silverstone 2014Baldassarri_Silverstone4Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2013Apsar MotoGP Silverstone 2012Pramac Ducati - Silverstone 2010Alstare Ducati - World Superbike - Silverstone 2013Ten Kate Honda - Silverstone May 2015MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018MXGP Great Britain 2018Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Oulton Park – May 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Oulton Park – May 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Oulton Park – May 2011Grid Girls UK models Maria and Becca working at Brands Hatch British Superbike 2011  From Grid Girls UK job and photo shoot archiveGrid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – August 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v4Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v3Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011Grid Girls UK – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v2MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v5MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v4MWR – British Superbikes – Brands Hatch – April 2011 v3Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 17Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 17Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 18BMW - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 17Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 16Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 15BMW - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 14Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 13Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 12Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 11Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 10Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 9Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 8Kawasaki - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 7Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 6Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 5Grid Girls UK - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 4BMW - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 3Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012 2Ten Kate Honda - World Superbikes - Silverstone - 2012Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Thruxton - September 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010 v2Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Snetterton - July 2010 v2Tyco - British Superbikes - Brands Hatch - September 2010Grid Girls UK - British Superbikes - Silverstone - October 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Silverstone - September 2010Tom Tunstall Racing - British Superbikes - s - Cadwell Park - May 2010Oulton Park British Superbikes October 2010Oulton Park British Superbikes May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Motorpoint Yamaha - British Superbikes - Cadwell Park - May 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Brands Hatch British Superbikes August 2010Motorpoint – British Superbikes 2010Motorpoint – British Superbikes 2010Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2014DucatiMotoGP3Pramac Ducati MotoGP Silverstone 2014196098_10151043262382813_1645653679_nMindworks and SuzukiMindworks and SuzukiSpeedfit KawsakiNat working with Red Bull Honda in World SBKHannah working with Halsall Racing in BSBDani working with Honda Racing in World SBKDani working with Halsall Racing in BSBHoliie601542_286850204748655_236925374_n621388_447940558575471_1576202978_oHollie working with Halsall Racing in BSBJen working in British SuperbikesIndia working with Halsall Racing in BSBHolliePhoto ShootAli D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKMagic Bullet at Birmingham NECMarta and FerrariMaria and Marta working with Honda Racing in World SBKMaria in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKDani and India working with Honda Racing in World SBKWSBK Silverstone 7Dani working with Honda Racing in World SBKAli D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKWSBK Silverstone 3Grid Girls UK photo shoot with Honda at WSBK Silverstone 1Ali D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKGrid Girls UK photo shoot with Honda at WSBK Silverstone 1Grid Girls UK photo shoot with Honda at WSBK Silverstone 1Ali D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKAli D in a photo shoot with Grid Girls UKSpecial Offer for Superbike News readers 1

15.8k Followers
Follow